Planning a Successful Cloud Migration with AWS
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Across industries, WWT works with many different clients at varying stages of their cloud adoption journey. Some are already deploying and operating fairly advanced workloads within a public cloud like AWS, while others are actively exploring how the agility and scalability of cloud can modernize their IT footprint.
For organizations considering migration to AWS, IT hardware renewals and colocation contract expirations represent important inflection points. Data center evacuations also present a compelling migration use case. Regardless of the impetus, successful cloud migrations always begin with proper planning paired with an in-depth assessment of the organization's existing infrastructure.
AWS Migration Evaluator is one of the tools WWT uses to provide the best migration experience and outcomes for our clients.
Cloud migrations generally follow a three-phased approach. For example, the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) includes Assess, Mobilize and Migrate phases. While organizations may be eager to jump straight to moving applications, it's critical to dedicate time and effort to the Assess and Mobilize phases, which are key to ensuring successful migration outcomes.
The AWS Migration Evaluator is a tool designed to help partners and customers simplify discovery, build a business case, and accelerate decision-making for cloud migration. These are all critical components to the Assess and Mobilize phases of MAP.
The agentless collector is a component of Migration Evaluator that enables broad-based discovery of on-premises infrastructure. Migration Evaluator can also ingest data from various discovery or monitoring tools, such as RVtools. Work must be done to ensure that existing data sets are formatted for import into Migration Evaluator, with a goal of including the data points required to drive toward optimal accuracy.
Agentless data collection uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to collect TCP data without needing to deploy agents across hundreds or thousands of on-premises servers. This provides optimal accuracy for a business case but also allows for server dependency mapping.
Visualization of server dependencies helps with application rationalization and wave planning. It can also be used as input for a larger Application Dependency Mapping (ADM) process. The Migration Evaluator's agentless collector makes the initial deployment and ongoing data collection much easier, but human and business knowledge is what turns the data into something usable for ADM.
Together, WWT and AWS use the free Migration Evaluator tool to help unlock this business value for clients.
Data collected by Migration Evaluator provides insight into server utilization. The nature of on-premises capital expenditures (CapEx) and cloud operating expenses (OpEx) is such that on-premises workloads typically have more than enough capacity to allow for the over-allocation of compute resources. Since cloud is billed based on resource consumption, right-sizing is critical to achieving cost optimization within AWS.
Right-sizing workloads means paying only for the resources that are required based on what workloads are actually used. It also can help make recommendations for either Reserved Instances or Savings Plans, which can result in drastically more savings compared to on-demand pricing.
Once workloads have been migrated to AWS, additional optimizations can come from looking at ways to take advantage of the scalability provided by AWS. For example, auto-scaling groups are a way to consume compute resources horizontally on-demand, rather than the traditional data center model of scaling vertically.
The Migration Evaluator business case has been updated to include additional costs for AWS support and other pillars of the AWS Cloud Value Framework(e.g., things like staff productivity and business agility often that are overlooked when developing a migration business case). Migration Evaluator makes it easier to highlight the value of migrating to AWS.
Moreover, VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS analysis is now included by default with Migration Evaluator, providing an additional migration option for consideration. For existing VMware customers already considering VMC as a target for data center evacuation, this enables one view to compare the migration options provided by AWS for VMware workloads.
Migration Evaluator also incorporates an AWS Optimization and Licensing Assessment (OLA) lens that enables businesses to assess and optimize both resources and third-party licensing. This lens includes outputs that show recommended architecture TCO, SQL and dedicated host options, and general licensing recommendations.
A new Storage Assessment shifts the focus from compute workloads to the storage components of an on-premises environment. Storage can often get lost in the mix when planning a cloud migration. While applications are king when it comes to the business, many times they rely on storage services that aren't isolated to the application itself. AWS' Storage Assessment provides similar discovery, analysis, TCO and AWS service mappings to further reduce costs when considering storage targets in AWS.
As an AWS advanced partner, WWT is well-versed in the MAP methodology and all components of migration to AWS. Working together, we provide access to these tools as well as the industry expertise needed to fully realize the business value of moving to AWS.